Just three rounds remain in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season and the three tiers of teams in the competition are beginning to separate from one another.
The Blues, Brumbies and Crusaders are in the race for the minor premiership followed by the chasing pack of four teams jostle for the remaining home Quarter Final.
At the bottom end of the table, everyone from the Highlanders down will be battling for the eighth place in the Super Rugby Finals, although the Drua and Moana Pasifika are likely just looking to end their season with some encouraging wins.
We’ve got six games coming up this weekend in Round 13 with Friday’s massive contest between the Brumbies and Crusaders the headline act.
Check out who we are backing in our previews below.
Friday 13 May, 5:05pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium
Highlanders 61 – Force 10
Fresh off back to back wins over the Drua and Reds, the Highlanders will be happy to head home to Dunedin for this clash with the Force.
On their day the Force have shown an innate stubbornness to stay in games against much more fancied opponents but last weekend against the Crusaders was not their day.
Pummelled 53-15, it’s going to be a tough ask for them to bounce back, even against what is arguably the weakest of the New Zealand opponents.
Asking the hosts to cover a line of over two converted tries is going to be a big ask with their average margin of victory sitting at just over 10, however the Force look like a side that has fired all of their bullets.
Needing to win to help bolster their finals case and with a home crowd at their back, I’ll take the Highlanders to do their job and pick up a comfortable win.
Back the Highlanders to Cover -15.5 @ $1.83
Friday 13 May, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium
Brumbies 26 – Crusaders 37
It might be time to stop viewing the Brumbies as a good Australian team and just start treating them like a good team full stop.
They passed a massive test in Hamilton last week, beating the Chiefs by 10 points to extend their winning streak to four, three of which have come against New Zealand opponents.
On the other side there has been a theory that the Crusaders have come back to the pack just enough in 2022 to make them vulnerable in games like this.
If the Brumbies are in fact a good team, then the Crusaders are going to be in for a real test and if those things are both true (which I believe they are), then the Brumbies should be much shorter in the head to head market.
Take the value on the home side as they push for a top two finish.
Back the Brumbies to Win @ $2.38
Saturday 14 May, 2:35pm, CommBank Stadium
Drua 34 – Moana Pasifika 19
It’s the battle of the new boys with the first ever clash between the Drua and Moana Pasifika set to take place in Sydney to kick start a Saturday triple header.
The winner of this will avoid the wooden spoon and 12 rounds into their respective inaugural seasons, it’s fair to say the wear and tear is starting to show.
Both sides have been on the wrong end of some big scorelines of late, with the Drua getting belted by the Hurricanes 67-5 last weekend, however this looks like a fairly even head to head contest.
You can count on both teams playing into their natural styles which should lend itself to an end to end game, but in one that boils down to a toss up take the underdog.
Back Moana Pasifika to Win @ $2.20
Saturday 14 May, 5:05pm, Eden Park
Blues 53 – Reds 26
On their day the Reds would be provide a stern test for the table topping Blues side.
But if there was one big takeaway from their last couple of defeats, it’s that the losses of playmaker James O’Connor and enforcer Taniela Tupou might just be too much for this squad to overcome.
Especially when you have a Blues side that just scored 71 on the Rebels at Eden Park up next on the agenda.
There is no questioning the Reds mettle having had their moments in their last three losses, but they just haven’t got the direction in big moments a player like O’Connor brings.
At some stage the Blues will hit the accelerator and the Reds won’t be able to answer in kind.
Back the Blues to Cover -15.5 @ $1.83
Saturday 14 May, 7:45pm, Leichhardt Oval
Waratahs 18 – Hurricanes 22
If you are ready to buy into the Waratahs being competitive (and you probably should) then there is value to be found on them at home against the Hurricanes.
They will need to be on their game defensively however with the Canes coming off a 62 point win over the Drua, but the Tahs are more than happy to turn this contest into a bit of a scrap.
Their pricing and handicap is very generous considering how they have looked when on their game and I’ll jump on them with a converted try head start.
Back the Waratahs to Cover +7.5 @ $1.91
Sunday 15 May, 2:05pm, AAMI Park
Rebels 30 – Chiefs 33
Round 13 closes out at AAMI Park with the Rebels hosting a Chiefs team that will be desperate to atone for last week’s loss to the Brumbies.
It does not bode well for the Rebels who just gave up 71 points to the Blues and have looked overmatched in their two games against New Zealand opponents to date.
Any one of the Chiefs backline could be in for a fill up against a Rebels outfit that allowed Reiko Ioane to cross for three tries on his own.
The only way the Rebels have a chance at covering this line is if the Chiefs let them back into it in the final 20 minutes and that just doesn’t seem likely for a side that needs a bonus point win here.
Back the Chiefs to Cover -16.5 @ $1.91
SUPER RUGBY TRANS TASMAN ROUND 1
The domestic editions of Super Rugby are in the books and it is now time for the Trans-Tasman tournament to get underway.
Less than a week after their thrilling triumph over the Brumbies at Suncorp Stadium, the Reds head to Dunedin to kick off the new season.
Our Super Rugby betting markets suggest that the all too familiar feeling of falling short against Kiwi opponents will resume this weekend after a 14 month hiatus.
All five New Zealand sides are favoured but are we backing them?
Find out in our Super Rugby Trans-Tasman tips and preview below.
Friday 14 May, 5:05pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium
Highlanders 40 – Reds 19
This fixture boils down to how prepared the Reds are come kickoff.
Nobody would begrudge them the ability to celebrate their Super Rugby AU Grand Final win, however the six-day turnaround is not going to help them here.
Brad Thorn has already said that some rotation will need to take place and the absence of Hunter Paisami is perhaps the biggest hole that will need to be filled.
Working in their favour however is the fact that the Highlanders hardly set the world alight in Super Rugby Aotearoa this year, winning just three of their eight matches and ending their season with a 41-22 defeat at the hands of the last placed Hurricanes.
Quite a lot has changed since the Reds last visited the Forsyth Barr Stadium in February 2019, and the confidence gained by winning their local competition will give them hope of springing an upset.
While taking the Reds outright is tempting, especially if James O’Connor can continue his mature, measured approach to controlling the game, I’ll settle for the insurance of the Reds at the line.
Back the Reds to Cover +9.5 @ $1.91
Friday 14 May, 7:45pm, Sydney Cricket Ground
Waratahs 48 – Hurricanes 64
The wooden spooners from their respective Super Rugby competitions will begin the season against one another, however there is only one outcome worth backing here.
While the Hurricanes still fought right to the bitter end in Super Rugby Aotearoa, the Waratahs were atrocious and lost all eight of their matches by an average margin of 19.25 points.
Even with this match being played in Sydney, I’m not giving the Waratahs much hope of being in this match beyond the fifth minute.
A poor start to 2021 could become even worse if the Hurricanes come to play, we know they can score points when given the opportunity and the Waratahs will need to start praying for some sort of divine intervention.
Back the Hurricanes to Cover -24.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 15 May, 5:00pm, Orangetheory Stadium
Crusaders 31 – Brumbies 29
It’s all going against the Brumbies at the moment.
Seven days after a gut wrenching, draining loss in the Super Rugby AU Grand Final, an injury depleted squad heads over to New Zealand to take on the ruthless champions of that nation.
At full strength, this would undoubtedly be the blockbuster clash of the round however it just seems like the Brumbies quite literally will not have the horses to keep up with the Crusaders.
It was not all smooth sailing in the Super Rugby Aotearoa Grand Final but the Christchurch based side still came away with a 10 point victory there.
When you add in the fact the Brumbies have not defeated the Crusaders since 2009, I can’t back anything other than the hosts to cover here.
Back the Crusaders to Cover -18.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 15 May, 7:50pm, AAMI Park
Rebels 3 – Blues 50
While the Rebels have not been overly convincing over the last few months, the line in this game looks far too high considering the Blues struggles as well.
With new boss Kevin Foote at the helm, he will ideally be in a position to fire a rocket shot at his side and get them motivated for this tournament.
As for the Blues they stumbled badly on their run home, blowing a prime opportunity to qualify for and host the Aotearoa Grand Final.
I’m not expecting a whole lot of points in this one which should allow the Rebels to at least stay in the vicinity of the visitors here.
Back the Rebels to Cover +17.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 15 May, 9:55pm, HBF Park
Western Force 19 – Chiefs 20
It was a disappointing end to Super Rugby Aotearoa for the Chiefs as they fell short in the Grand Final, however their overall campaign was quite impressive.
After going over a year without a win, they then rattled off five straight to make the decider before doing what most teams in Christchurch do, lose to the Crusaders.
This has the makings of a very tough spot for them with a long haul flight to Perth on the cards and a Force side full of confidence.
It was an impressive Super Rugby AU season that saw them reach the Semi Final against the Brumbies, going down by 12 points in the end.
Much like the previous match, I’m expecting a tense tussle that could be won by the first team to reach 20.
Back the Force to Cover +17.5 @ $1.91
Friday 24 April, 5:05pm, Orangetheory Stadium
Friday 24 April, 7:15pm, AAMI Park
Saturday 25 April, 5:05pm, Navigation Homes Stadium
Saturday 25 April, 11:05pm, Jonsson Kings Park
Sunday 26 April, 1:15am, Loftus Versfeld
Sunday 26 April, 4:05pm, Suncorp Stadium
Unpredictability is possibly the best thing for Super Rugby in this World Cup year.
Quite literally any outcome is on the table in every game as most sides find themselves very evenly matched up with one another.
Friday was the perfect example of that as the Sharks held the Crusaders to a draw before an ill-disciplined Sunwolves side very nearly upset the Reds at Suncorp.
We have tried to make sense of it all with our Super Rugby picks and preview for this weekend’s games.
Friday 10 May, 5:35pm, Eden Park
Blues 12 – Hurricanes 22
Four wins in a row for the Hurricanes has them clear in second spot behind the Crusaders and they can close the gap at least temporarily here.
The Blues four wins this season have all come at home so you could very easily talk yourself into backing them for an upset here.
Nothing this season is 100% certain with most of these teams but the Hurricanes are one of the few sides that can at least grind out a win most weeks.
I’m not confident in the Hurricanes blowing out the Blues here so I’ll back them to win and the Blues to possibly get a bonus point.
Back the Hurricanes to Win by 1-12
Friday 10 May, 7:45pm, AAMI Park
Rebels 30 – Reds 24
The Brad Thorn Project gets its biggest test of the season as they get a rematch with the Rebels.
A win could send the Reds to the top of the Australian Conference and you can give them every chance to do that given the Rebels struggles lately.
They have lost three in a row and haven’t looked anything like the high flying team from earlier in the season as their lack of depth gets found out.
Queensland has won two games in a row although if you want to be really critical, they should have put 50 on the Sunwolves last week.
Either way, this game looks a lot closer than the market has it right now so back the Reds as a value play.
Back the Reds to Win @ $3.50
Saturday 11 May, 3:10am, Loftus Versfeld
Bulls 13 – Crusaders 45
Who knew the Crusaders could be held at home?
The Sharks shocked pretty much everyone by taking two points from AMI Stadium and now the Crusaders have to bounce back on a South African tour.
While this is likely to be the only time they have to travel here this tournament, they still would be well served to put down a marker against the side leading the South African Conference.
It says all you need to know about the Crusaders however that they are on the road against possibly the best South African team and still find themselves as clear favourites.
Last time they travelled to Loftus Versfeld, they put up 60 on the Bulls and while a 40 point win is rather unlikely, I do think they can win by double digits so I’ll back them at the line.
Back the Crusaders to Cover -8.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 11 May, 3:15pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium
Highlanders 32 – Jaguares 27
Because of Super Rugby’s quirky scheduling system this is just the second meeting between these two sides.
The Highlanders have to be incredibly disappointed with their draw last weekend, feeling as though they let the Chiefs off the hook.
With the New Zealand Conference probably out of reach, they can turn their attention to the Wild Card race and the Jaguares could be one of those sides they are in the mix with.
This kicks off the Argentine side’s Australasian tour and they are bringing some strong momentum with them on the back of four straight wins.
They made their run to the finals on the back of a strong tour and will look to do the same here.
That line seems too big so I’ll back the Jaguares to cover.
Back the Jaguares to Cover +10.5 @ $1.91
Saturday 11 May, 5:35pm, FMG Stadium
Chiefs 29 – Sharks 23
Turns out the Sharks can travel, picking up a draw in Christchurch last weekend and would feel pretty hard done by considering they had the defending champions on the ropes for most of that game.
That is why it is so shocking to see them installed as underdogs for this game considering how well this tour is going for them.
Over the last eight years this fixture has favoured the home side but that doesn’t really take into account how bad the Chiefs have been this season.
Somehow they took a draw off the Highlanders last weekend and can still cause some trouble but the Sharks at that price are just too good to ignore.
Back the Sharks to Win @ $2.30
Saturday 11 May, 11:05pm, Ellis Park
Lions 29 – Waratahs 28
After back to back losses to the Sharks and Bulls, another South African side is the last thing the Waratahs would like to see.
They have lost four of their last five all up and now take on a Lions side they haven’t even played a close game against since 2015.
The Lions might see this game as a get right opportunity off their bye and returning home from a tough tour to Australia and New Zealand that only produced one win.
I’ll back the Lions to recover at home with a comfortable win here, they have covered the line in each of their last three home games against the Waratahs and this has the potential to get ugly if things click.
Back the Lions to Cover -7.5 @ $1.91
Sunday 12 May, 4:05pm, GIO Stadium
Brumbies 33 – Sunwolves 0
Can the Sunwolves keep 15 players on the park for this match?
Discipline was a huge issue in Brisbane yet somehow they went down by just six.
The Brumbies on the other hand will either be looking to take top spot in the Australian Conference or catch up to the Rebels depending on their result.
I don’t have confidence in the Brumbies covering the spread but I also don’t know which Sunwolves side will turn up so I can’t rule it out, so I’m looking elsewhere here.
The Brumbies Halftime/Fulltime double almost came through last week so I’ll back it in again.
Back the Brumbies HT/FT Double
The Jaguares have shown in recent weeks that the New Zealand-based Super Rugby franchises are not unbeatable, but it will still be a tough assignment for the Waratahs when they take on the Crusaders this weekend.
The Brumbies can get themselves back into the hunt in the Australian Conference if they beat the Rebels, while the clash between the Highlanders and the Lions is set to be one of the most intriguing of the weekend.
We have analysed every game set to take place this weekend and our 2018 Super Rugby Round 13 tips can be found below.
Friday 11 May, 5:35pm, Eden Park
Blues 15 – Hurricanes 36
Friday’s lone fixture is a New Zealand derby between the surging Hurricanes (no pun intended) and the struggling Blues.
It is now eight games in a row unbeaten for the Hurricanes after their win at home over the Lions thanks in large part to a defence that has allowed the fewest points and fewest tries in Super Rugby so far.
On the other hand, the Blues got a confidence boosting win over the Waratahs however they still have struggled against opponents inside their conference.
In their four losses this season they have lost by a combined total of 33 points however the Hurricanes represent a step up in class from those opponents.
Back the Hurricanes to Cover the Line (-9.5)
Saturday 12 May, 1:05pm, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
Sunwolves 63 – Reds 28
After their second bye of the season, the Reds set out to play the Sunwolves in Tokyo.
They are the only side in the Australia to beat a non-Conference team in their last five matches.
Their defeat of the Lions in their last game means that Brad Thorn’s side has already matched their win total from last season and go into this game as slight favourites.
The Sunwolves are 0-9 so far and have lost seven of those games by 10 or more points.
Queensland are certainly capable of winning this game however the Sunwolves are not a team that will lie down easily.
Back the Reds Half-Time/Full-Time @ $1.91
Saturday 12 May, 3:15pm, AMI Stadium
Crusaders 31 – Waratahs 29
After coming oh so close against the Blues, the Waratahs have the unenviable task of playing the competition leading Crusaders in Christchurch.
This will be the defending Champions third straight game against Australian opponents first winning a low scoring struggle against the Brumbies before blowing out the Rebels in Melbourne.
With Australia’s losing streak now at 37 games against New Zealand opponents ahead of this contest it is very likely to be extended to 38 in this match.
New South Wales does have the discipline to potentially keep them in touching distance for this game which does bring cause for concern with such a big line.
19.5 points is an awfully large head start to give any team however scoring has been an issue for the Waratahs in their last two games and I am going to take the action on the Crusaders but any more and I would have to have second thoughts.
Back the Crusaders to Cover the Line (-19.5)
Saturday 12 May, 5:35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium
Highlanders 39 – Lions 27
The Lions four game road trip concludes with a visit to the Highlanders after back to back losses to the Reds and Hurricanes.
It will have been four weeks since the Highlanders played in front of their home fans, a place where they have amassed an impressive 4-0 record this season.
For those four games they have won by an average of just under 15 points however the Lions have the attacking flair to trouble them, especially after the Sharks put up a second half blitz.
This could easily turn into the game of the weekend with the potential for plenty of points on the cards but I am backing the Lions to keep it close and possibly spring an upset.
Back the Lions to Cover the Line (+7.5)
Saturday 12 May, 7:45pm, GIO Stadium
Brumbies 24 – Rebels 27
An all-Australian derby on Saturday night and a chance for the Rebels to try and end their five game losing run.
The Brumbies come into this game fresh after a weekend off to stew on back to back home losses to the Jaguares and Crusaders.
While they have had their moments of expanse this season, the Brumbies attack has been by and large fairly stagnant, with points at a premium.
The Rebels have given up 89 points in their last two games while scoring just 28 but they do have the confidence of a 33-10 win over the Brumbies in early March.
I expect this line to move out closer to seven as the game gets closer but even so the Brumbies will have the experience to close out the game.
Back the Brumbies to Cover the Line (-4.5) @ $1.83
Saturday 12 May, 11:05pm, DHL Newlands
Stormers 9 – Chiefs 15
The Chiefs have hit a bit of a speed bump losing two of their last three ahead of their South African trip.
On the other side the Stormers have won back to back games to lift themselves off the foot of the South African Conference.
All five of their wins this season have come at Newlands including their one meeting with a New Zealand team at home in March resulting in a 17 point victory.
The market has this as a toss up but I like the Chiefs to end the Stormers perfect home record.
Back the Chiefs to Win @ $1.91
Sunday 13 May, 1:15pm, Loftus Versfeld
Bulls 39 – Sharks 33
This is a very tough game to get a read on with the highly inconsistent Sharks visiting the slumping Bulls.
Many were shocked by the convincing nature of the Sharks’ win last weekend pulling away from a good Highlanders side so easily.
You never really know what sort of team will show up week on week with the Sharks and with such a tight market, I am happy to stay out of this one.
The Super Rugby season continues this weekend and we don’t have to wait long for the best game of the round.
The Chiefs and Crusaders are the top two teams in the New Zealand Conference and their clash in Fiji on Friday afternoon could be a genuine Grand Final Preview.
There are plenty of other games spread across the weekend and you can find our complete 2017 Super Rougby Round 13 tips below.
Friday 19 May, 5:35pm, ANZ National Stadium
The Crusaders confirmed their status as title favourites with their win over the Hurricanes and they will start this clash as favourites.
The Crusaders have now won 13 of their past 15 games as home favourites and they are an impressive 10-5 against the line in this scenario.
The Chiefs went into the bye on the back of a comfortable victory over the Reds and they have lost just the one game this season.
They have won three of their past five games as underdogs for a profit and their record against the Crusaders as underdogs is a positive one.
The Chiefs have won the past four games played between these two sides and they have definitely had the edge over their rivals in recent years.
This should be a thrilling encounter and it is the Chiefs that really do represent genuine value at their current price.
Back The Chiefs To Win @ $2.20
Friday 20 May, 3:00pm, DHL Newlands
This is one of the most interesting games of the weekend and the market can’t split these two teams.
The Stormers made a very strong start to the season, but they have now lost four games on the trot and are yet to beat a New Zealand-based side this season.
Winning at home has not been an issue for the Stormers and they have won six of their past eight games in front of their home fans, but they are only 3-5 against the line in this scenario.
The Blues made it three wins on the trot with their win over the Cheetahs last weekend and they have shown this season that they are capable of winning away from home.
They are 6-2 against the line when on the road and in recent years they really have played superior Rugby to the Stormers.
The Stormers may have the home ground advantage, but it is the Blues that deserve to start this clash as favourites.
Back The Blues To Win @ $1.91
Saturday 20 May, 5:35pm, Westpac Stadium
The Hurricanes are the shortest-priced favourites in Super Rugby this weekend.
They lost no admirers with their defeat at the hands of the Crusaders last weekend and they really should be able to bounce back to winning form.
The Hurricanes have won their past nine games as home favourites and they are an impressive 6-3 against the line in this scenario.
It has been an eternity since the Cheetahs have found a game and they were no match for the Blues last weekend.
The Cheetahs have lost their past six games as away underdogs and they are a middling 3-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Hurricanes will be keen to return to their best in dominant fashion and they can cover the big line against the Cheetahs.
Back The Hurricanes To Beat The Line (-26.5 Points)
Saturday 20 May, 7:45pm, NIB Stadium
The Force will have the chance to become the first Australian team to beat a New Zealand-based outfit in the Super Rugby this season.
It should come as no surprise that it is the Highlanders that will start this clash as clear favourites and they have won seven games on the trot.
The Highlanders have won six of their past seven games as away favourites and they are 4-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Force showed plenty of defensive toughness to beat the Jaguares in Argentina this weekend and they have been a courageous outfit this season.
They have won only one of their past five games as home underdogs, but they are 3-2 against the line in this situation.
This is a game that the market looks to have got just about right and I am keen to stay out from a betting perspective.
Saturday 20 May, 9:55pm, Singapore National Stadium
The Sharks suffered a surprise loss at the hands of the Kings last weekend, but they will still go into this clash with the Sunwolves as clear favourites.
It is fair to say that the Sharks have been inconsistent in recent weeks and they have been a tough side to trust from a betting perspective.
The Sharks are 1-1 as away favourites so far this season and they are 5-5 against the line as the punter’s elect.
The Sunwolves went into the bye on the back of a narrow defeat at the hands of the Jaguares and they have been far from disgraced in recent weeks.
They have won one of their past four games as home underdogs and they are 2-2 against the line in this scenario.
Both these teams are tough to trust from a betting standpoint and this is another game that I am happy to stay out of.
Sunday 21 May, 1:15am, Emirates Airline Park
The Lions returned from Australia with three wins and they will go into this meeting with the Bulls as dominant favourites.
The Lions have played some excellent rugby so far this season and they have been particularly good in front of their home fans – they have won their past eight games as home favourites and they are 5-3 against the line in this scenario.
The Bulls head into this clash on the back of a pair of defeats and they face another tough challenge this weekend.
They have lost their past four games as away underdogs and they are a poor 1-3 against the line.
The Lions have won three of their past four meetings with the Bulls and they should be able to improve that record this weekend.
Back The Lions To Beat The Line (-14.5 Points)
Sunday 21 May, 3:30am, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
The Kings have won three games on the trot, but it is the Brumbies that will still start this clash as favourites.
The Kings have been excellent in recent weeks and they have been one of the best betting sides in all of Super Rugby this season.
They have won three of their past seven games as home underdogs for a clear profit and they are 4-1-2 against the line in this scenario.
The Brumbies sunk to their fourth straight loss when they went down to the Lions last weekend, but they sadly still remain on top of the Australian Conference.
They have lost their past two games as away favourites and they have been a losing betting play across just about every metric.
There is no way that the Brumbies should start this clash as favourites and the Kings are the best betting value play in Super Rugby this weekend.
Back The Kings To Win @ $2.35
Sunday 21 May, 4:05pm, Allianz Stadium
This is a crucial game for both sides as the winner has the chance to close the gap on the Brumbies on top of the Australian Conference.
The Waratahs have lost four of their past five games and they have been a very tough team to trust from a betting standpoint this season.
They have won only one of their past four games as home favourites and they have failed to cover the line in their past four games in this situation.
The Rebels suffered their third straight loss when they went down to the Reds last weekend and their future really does hang in the balance.
The struggling franchise has also been tough to trust betting wise so far this season.
They have won one of their five games as away underdogs for a profit, but they are only 2-3 against the line in this situation.
You can’t trust either of these sides and I am more than happy to stay out.
Another week of Super Rugby and there is another Friday afternoon blockbuster, with the Crusaders set to host the Waratahs in what will be a very exciting fixture.
The Reds and Sunwolves will play for the first time in a rare Saturday afternoon fixture at Suncorp Stadium before the Lions and the Jaguares also meet for the first time.
The round concludes in the early hours of Sunday morning when the Bulls and Stormers face off at Loftus Versfeld.
Friday 20 May, 5:35pm, AMI Stadium
Crusaders 29 - Waratahs 10
The Crusaders have an outstanding record against the Waratahs and won 16 of the 19 Super Rugby games played between the two sides.
The Crusaders had their winning run snapped against the Highlanders last weekend, while the Waratahs are one of the form teams of the competition after recording a dominant victory over the Bulls last weekend.
The Waratahs will still go into this game as underdogs and they have been a winning betting proposition as underdogs this season, but they have a very poor record against the Crusaders in this scenario.
The Crusaders have lost just one of their past eight games as favourites and they have a strong record against the line when giving away a start, but the line of 9.5 points for this fixture does seem a tad excessive.
This should be a an exciting game of rugby, but it is not one that I am interested in getting involved in from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 21 May, 3:05pm, Suncorp Stadium
Reds 35 - Sunwolves 25
This will be the first ever meeting between the Reds and the Sunwolves.
The Sunwolves will go into this game with plenty of confidence after they produced arguably their best performance to date when they drew against the Stormers last weekend, but they still face a tough challenge against a Reds side that generally produces their best football in front of their home fans at Suncorp Stadium.
In saying that, the Reds have lost two of their past three games as home favourites and really can’t be trusted from a betting perspective.
The Sunwolves have really struggled on the road during this season to date and they have beaten the line in only one of their three games as away underdogs, so I am not particularly keen to back them either.
This is another game that I am willing to stay out of from a betting perspective.
Recommended Bet: No Bet
Saturday 21 May, 5:35pm, FMG Stadium
Chiefs 36 - Rebels 15
The Chiefs went into their bye week on the back of a loss to the Highlanders, but they have an excellent chance to return to winning form against the Rebels.
The Rebels were not disgraced against the Brumbies, but they still lack that killer instinct required to beat the very best teams in Super Rugby and unless they are able to change that they won’t qualify for the Super Rugby Finals.
The Chiefs will start this game as clear favourites and this is a position in which they have been fairly unreliable proposition – they have won just four of their past seven games as home favourites and they are 2-5 against the line in this scenario.
The Rebels have won just two of their past nine games as underdogs, but they are 4-2 against the line as away underdogs in the past 12 months and they are capable of keeping this margin to less than two converted tries.
Recommended Bet: Back The Rebels To Beat The Line (+14.5 Points)
Saturday 21 May, 7:45pm, NIB Stadium
Force 13 - Blues 17
The Force finally returned to winning form when they beat the Sunwolves before they had a week off, while the Blues come into this game on the back of a heavy loss at the hands of the Blues.
Despite that defeat, the Blues will still start this game as favourites and their record in this situation leaves plenty to be desired.
The Blues have not beaten the line in any of their past six matches as favourites and they have been a losing betting proposition in every scenario as the punter’s elect.
The problem for punters is that the Force have been just as poor from a betting standpoint.
They have lost their past six games as home underdogs and their record against the line in this scenario is a very poor 1-5.
The Blues have let punters down for the last several seasons, but there is little doubt that they are a better side than the Blues and the line of five and a half points does not look like it will be enough.
Recommended Bet: Back The Blues To Beat The Line (-5.5 Points)
Saturday 21 May, 11:00pm, Emirates Airline Park
Lions 52 - Jaguares 24
This will be the first ever meeting between the Lions and the Jaguares.
The Lions are on track for their best ever Super Rugby finish after they recorded a dominant victory over the Blues last weekend and they are set to start this match as very short-priced favourites.
The Lions remain undefeated in games in which they have started as favourites in the past 12 months and they are a simply outstanding 5-1 against the line in that scenario.
The Jaguares suffered another loss to the Sharks last weekend and betting against them continues to be a very profitable play.
They are yet to win a game as underdogs and they are 1-3 against the line when being given a start.
The Lions are a very safe bet this weekend and should prove far too strong for the struggling Jaguares.
Recommended Bet: Back The Lions To Beat The Line (-10.5 Points)
Sunday 22 May, 1:10am, Growthpoint Kings Park
Sharks 53 - Kings 0
The Sharks are easily the shortest-priced favourites of the weekend and are giving up a huge point start against the line.
The Sharks have found a semblance of their best form in the past month and they go into this game on the back of tough victories over both the Hurricanes and the Jaguares
The Natal-based side have still been a fairly unreliable betting proposition this season and they are 3-2 as home favourites in head-to-head betting as well as 2-3 against the line.
The Kings never looked like winning, but they beat the line for the second week in a row against the Cheetahs and they showed a little bit of toughness in defense.
They are yet to win a game as underdogs, but their record as away underdogs is a profitable 3-1 and they are receiving a huge start at the line.
Recommended Bet: Back The Kings To Beat The Line (+30.5 Points)
Sunday 22 May, 3:20am, Loftus Versfeld
Bulls 17 - Stormers 13
The rivalry between the Bulls and the Stormers is one of the most intense in Super Rugby.
The Stormers flogged the Bulls when they met earlier this season, but they go into this game on the back of a very poor performance against the Sunwolves.
The Bulls really aren’t in much better form and they showed little resistance against both the Brumbies and Waratahs during their Australian tour.
The market can’t separate these two teams, but the home ground advantage means that we have to give a narrow edge to the Bulls.
They have lost just one of their past five games at Loftus Versfeld, while the Stormers have been a losing proposition away from home in the past 12 months.
Recommended Bet: Back The Bulls To Win @ $1.91